To the uninitiated, a heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events. The person who participates in a heptathlon is known as a heptathlete. A woman’s heptathlon consists of the following:
- 100 metres hurdle
- High Jump
- Shot put
- 200 metres
- Long Jump
- Javelin Throw
- 800 metres
Swapna’s story is nothing short of bravery, where despite faulty shoes and a raging toothache, she beat the odds and emerged as the winner. Her win is the first-ever gold for India in the event at the Asian Games.
Swapna’s backstory is all sorts of incredible, where pain has been a huge part of her life. She was born with six toes on each of her feet, wherein shoes would seldom fit her. Acquiring expensive shoes was out of the question as her father was a rickshaw puller and couldn’t afford it. Over the years, she sustained injuries on her ankle, knee, fingers, with a disc bulging in her back. At the Asian Games, right before her historic win, she couldn’t speak owing to an incredibly painful tooth.
However, after her win, one could still see her face bandaged up in order to lessen the pain in her tooth. Post her win, she took to Twitter to talk about what it all felt like. She dedicated her win to her country.
Pain is the best motivator. 💪Glad to have won a historic gold medal in Women’s Heptathlon in the @asiangames2018 for my country.
Thank you everyone for the endless love and support! 🇮🇳 #AsianGames2018 #TeamIndiaAthletics pic.twitter.com/Mcsw6oHbSW
— Swapna Barman (@Swapna_Barman96) August 30, 2018
Happy pictures of her family have been doing the rounds, too, celebrating her win at Jakarta.
To understand the hurdles #SwapnaBarman had to cross to win this gold, have a look at her home. Our golden girl lives in a shack, and we expect them perform. pic.twitter.com/18NWuhHw6r
— Aparna (@chhuti_is) August 30, 2018
Family members of Swapna Barman celebrate at their residence in Jalpaiguri after she won gold medal in Women’s Heptathlon at #AsianGames. Her mother says,”We’re very happy. Me & Swapna’s dad toiled hard to help her in her journey. Today all our dreams came true.” #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/oXMvTwornT
— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2018
The performance of the female athletes at the Asian Games this year has been par excellence, with each athlete bringing in laurels for the country. Right from Vinesh Phogat’s gold to Dutee Chand’s silver, PV Sindhu’s silver, and lots more, nothing stops these women from aiming higher.